Pressured by bearish builds in both crude oil and distillate stockpiles, as well the dollar's gains on the session, crude futures edged below $86 a barrel Wednesday as oil traders cashed in their chips after seven consecutive rallies on the NYMEX.
Reversing on a build in the energy commodity's inventories by 2 million barrels, the price of light, sweet crude oil for May delivery drew back from record highs to $85.88 a barrel.
Additionally, both gasoline futures and natural gas spot prices at the Henry Hub extended yesterday's losses to settled down to $2.31 a gallon and $4.02 Mcf, respectively.
Today, the Energy Information Administration spotlighted a major increase in domestic crude stocks, nearly double the amount reported by the American Petroleum Institute and spurred higher by rising imports, a report by Reuters said.
A larger-than-expected drop in gasoline inventories by 2.5 million barrels was not enough to lift the energy product's futures to a positive closing on the commodity exchange, although the drawdown was primarily the result of a decline in blending components rather than the refined product, the report also noted.
Moreover, gasoline imports have reached their lowest level since 2001, the EIA's product inventory data confirmed.
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